National nonprofit organizations Petco Love and Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) have joined forces to distribute vaccines with PWNA’s reservation partners in the Southwest and Northern Plains. Petco Love has also donated 10,000 pounds of dog and cat food for distribution at the free vaccine clinics. Seventy percent of the vaccines and food are for dogs; 30 percent is for cats.
Reservations often do not have local stores where supplies such as pet food are available or affordable. These communities tend to be remote and geographically isolated locations, away from the mainstream. Recently, Petco delivered 5,000 pounds of this food donation to PWNA’s distribution center in Rapid City, SD and the other 5,000 to PWNA’s Phoenix, AZ facility. The vaccine clinics will run throughout the month of March on participating reservations.
Petco Love established March as National Pet Vaccination Month to encourage pet parents to keep pets up to date on their vaccinations. Contagious and deadly diseases impacting pets are preventable with a simple vaccine. On reservations in particular, overpopulation of strays coupled with limited veterinary care and stressed family budgets leave many animals in those communities in need of care. Issues such as untreated strays, animal bites and rabies can raise community health concerns as well.
PWNA supports animal welfare groups who rescue, rehabilitate and place stray dogs and cats in foster or forever homes. PWNA also subsidizes spay and neuter clinics and vaccinations in remote Native American tribal communities.
“Thanks to Petco Love, our partners will be able to offer these important vaccines at no cost to pet guardians in Native American communities,” said Ashleigh Hughes, VP of Development and Communications at PWNA. “In addition, Petco’s gift of 10,000 pounds of food is estimated to serve between 5,000 and 7,000 pets in 10 to 12 Native American communities across the country. This project is a positive step toward addressing animal welfare issues and will be a welcome relief to our tribal partners who support healthy pets in these communities.”
National Pet Vaccination Month is a continuation of Petco Love’s 1 million free pet vaccine campaign, which has helped distribute 500,000 vaccines to date.